ad: M2Ant-1

Stratos High Altitude Balloon Launch During the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4ZWA, Mar 19, 2017.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: abrind-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-2
ad: l-BCInc
ad: Left-3
  1. KJ4ZWA

    KJ4ZWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    [​IMG] Video Livestream of the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse from 100,000 feet!

    Using ATV, VHF Digital, and APRS for live video and data (Frequencies TBA)​

    A group of young hams from Greenville SC is building a high altitude balloon payload that will record scientific data and send a livestream video to the ground during the August Solar Eclipse. We are going to be using APRS for tracking the balloon, amateur television (ATV) for sending live video, and we will be using a foxhunting transmitter as a beacon to find the payload in case if the other two transmitters cease to work.

    We have a few basic goals for this project:
    • Successfully launch and recover the payload.
    • Obtain live video & scientific data of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
    • Introduce young people to the world of HAM radio.
    • Analyze data from the atmosphere during the solar eclipse.
    Our project fundraising goal is $1700. We will be spending it on:
    • Helium
    • 800g Weather Balloon
    • Instruments
    • ATV transmitter
    • APRS transmitter
    • Foxhunt Transmitter
    • Cameras
    • Antennas
    • Batteries
    • & a lot of small parts for connecting it all together.
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


    Twitter: @HABStratos

    Please donate using the GoFundMe link:
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    N3DAW, IX1FIT and W0PV like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    Can you kindly detail who is in charge?

    From my standpoint, that info = $$$$....hint hint.

    Chip W1YW
  3. KJ4ZWA

    KJ4ZWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    KJ4IQS is the project manager, and we are working in conjunction with the IEEE Piedmont Student Branch.
  4. KJ4ZWA

    KJ4ZWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some more information:

    James is a senior in college. He is an Eagle Scout and was a senior patrol leader. He has done several large scale electronics projects, including building and utilizing a home solar observation station in cooperation with Stanford University as well as designing & building a working model submarine. James is a technician class amateur radio operator (KJ4IQS).

    James may be reached at:

    I am the Team Lead for Engineering and Communications for the project. I am a freshman engineering major, as well as a general class amateur radio operator. I have 7 years of electronics experience, including being a certified Aircraft Electronics Technician (NCATT AET) for a year and a half. I have also worked on a previous (successful) balloon launch.

    I may be reached at:

    We are going to be posting a short informational video in the next couple of days.

    If you have more questions, feel free to email either of us, or reply on this thread.
    W7GST and (deleted member) like this.
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    I will be in touch.

    Chip W1YW
    W1ZY likes this.
  6. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great stuff.
    I am by no means trying to insult you or James, but it would increase confidence a bit if there was a teacher or 'elder Elmer' overseeing, especially the cost/money end.

    That comment is driven by experience of knowing there is someone accountable beyond the young minds driving the effort.

    I'm interested in assisting on some of the costs...

    Chip W1YW
  7. KJ4ZWA

    KJ4ZWA Ham Member QRZ Page


    We have two professors at the university working with us, as well as a physicist, an engineering PHD candidate, and a retired engineer as consultants.

    I hope that that answers your question.

    Fleet KJ4ZWA

    Edit: That was a very good question to ask. Thank you for asking it.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Excellent. I am prepared to provide matching funds for the first $250 to get you guys started.

    But you need to be more clear who else--names--is involved: maybe put that on the funding page?

    The biggest issue is permission and liability. Where do you plan to launch; are you out of the flight lanes; do you apply for FAA waiver; where will this land; do you have insurance so it doesnt bean Bigfoot :)?

    Those stupid issues easily become launch-killers. Its unfortunate that you live in times when launching an Estes rocket can be construed as a terrorist act, for example.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    W1ZY likes this.
  9. KJ4ZWA

    KJ4ZWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as permissions and liability, we will be under the 4 pound limit mandated by the FAA; we will still apply for a waiver so that we can use more robust suspension lines, however.

    We will be out of the range of the major flight lanes, and we will be filing a NOTAM before the launch.

    Due to the nature of weather, we will not be able to determine a launch site or approximate a landing site this far out.

    The general launch zone will be anywhere fromPickens, SC to northwest GA or eastern Tennessee. The general landing zone will be somewhere between Greenville, SC and Columbia, SC.

    As far as your other questions, I will get those answers and start up a FAQ section on the GoFundMe page.

    Fleet KJ4ZWA
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    You can list me as providing matching funds for the first $250. "Dr. Nathan Cohen of Fractal Antenna Systems will provide matching funds for the first $250 we raise."

    Let me know when $250 is hit and I will paypal over the matching $250.

    I am saying all this publicly to give you guys a good start and some additional cred.

    Chip W1YW
    W1ZY and N3DAW like this.

Share This Page

ad: Schulman-1